Saturday, December 08, 2012

Winter view of Walcot

click photo to enlarge
Walking in lowland Lincolnshire can be a mucky, sticky affair in winter. Arable land at this time of year is often wet and muddy and it's not uncommon to end a walk measuring a couple of inches taller than when you set off, such is the tenacity with which the soil clings to the sole of your boots. Consequently, a deep overnight frost is welcome because it means that fields which are usually impassable or unpleasant to walk, solidify and become much easier. In fact, the day we did a circular morning walk from Folkingham to Walcot, then on to Pickworth and finally back to Folkingham, the ground was like concrete and we left no footprints to mark our passage.

There is another feature of this walk that makes it a good choice for a winter walk and that is the greater than usual amount of pasture through which the footpaths meander. Permanent grass is reasonably common on Lincolnshire's higher land but less so lower down. In this area, especially around the villages, there is quite a bit that often has flocks of rather timid sheep or sometimes pet animals of the sort favoured by those who engage in "horsiculture."

The church at Walcot has become one of my favourite Lincolnshire churches. It suffered much less than many from the attentions of the restorers and enthusiasts, and what was done (mostly in 1907) was accomplished with sensitivity and respect for the achievements of the medieval builders and masons. The current congregation continues this work so when you enter the building you get a real sense of stepping into the past. Inside the fabric is mainly twelfth and thirteenth century, with the outside largely fourteenth century. I've posted photographs of the interior, the porch and the font before, but on the day of my visit the light wasn't bright enough for interior shots. However, I'd set out on this walk in the hope of returning with a landscape or two, and even though the weather deteriorated, the sun disappeared, and drab cloud rolled in, I managed this shot that features the broach spire of the distant church rising from the pantile roofs of the few farms and houses that constitute this small village.

photograph and text © Tony Boughen

Camera: Canon
Mode: Aperture Priority
Focal Length: 73mm
F No: f5.6
Shutter Speed: 1/80
ISO: 100
Exposure Compensation:  -0.33 EV
Image Stabilisation: On